Work Exchange Program

Work, Rest & Play

Wwoof & Volunteer Exchange Program

For many years now Mana has hosted an abundance of travellers from around the world in a work exchange program that offers simple living with gratifying work and nourishing connectedness.
The work-exchange program provides an invaluable contribution to the function of the center, gardens and guest services, whilst providing a gateway for people of all walks of life to enjoy the ‘Mana’ experience.

The aim of the program is;

  • To Live: and work in a caring and supportive environment where everyone can grow in their unique way
  • To Nourish: oneself with wholesome food & living
  • To Inspire: conscious living, self exploration and unity in diversity
  • To Engage: in a family culture and contribute to the community
  • To Connect: to a deep sense of life & human potential with like-minded people

What is included in the program?

  • Wholesome work in exchange for food and accommodation
  • 4 weeks of work exchange with pre-determined arrival and departure dates
  • 5 days of scheduled work per week with 2 days off (where possible the days off are consecutive)
  • 6 hours of work per day, including meal and break times
  • A working agreement that is settled following a mutual trial period to allow the opportunity for us to get to know each other to decide if the arrangement is suitable.
  • An opportunity for previous volunteers wishing to return to the program to negotiate an extended stay of up to 8 weeks. *

Recent changes to the program have reduced the number of placements for long term stays. This opens the door for more people to experience Mana, and helps us to maintain a structured schedule that is often booked months in advance. We feel an extended stay is a privilege that is well earned for Wwoofs and volunteers that wish to return to Mana. For this reason we encourage people to experience our 4 week program before applying for anything longer.

The work

Mana Retreat Centre hosts many workshops and events, during this time the days are busy with kitchen  preparation, home-care, cleaning and laundering. During the quiet times garden projects, maintenance and deep cleaning help time to pass effortlessly. Woofers need to be able to work under the direct supervision of our staff and senior volunteers and at times do mundane and simple tasks. We view work as a meditation and service, as well as a time to learn and increase skills. Depending on their work experience, wwoofs may be given the opportunity to take on larger projects and  eesponsibilities. Our expectation is for open-mindedness and a willingness to learn; as these are the qualities that create the foundation for our work exchange.

The exchange experience

  • Learn new skills and apply them with hands on experience
  • Meet – and find inspiration in – like minded people
  • Engage in community life and take part in the community activities as they happen
  • Enjoy eating wholesome vegetarian cuisine and fresh garden produce
  • Reconnect to the soil, get your hands dirty and get grounded
  • Gain knowledge in organic and biodynamic growing, harvesting and preserving of produce
  • Experience the New Zealand native bush and coastal bays of the Coromandel Peninsula
  • Get lots of interesting stories to tell!

Living at Mana

  • The food… wholesome, nourishing, delicious, vegetarian buffets of goodness, served 3 times at day!
  • The lodging … simple, comfortable, shared rooms with a cosy atmosphere, blankets, bedding and towels and for those colder nights a hot water bottle!
  • The Sanctuary … a peaceful place of stillness that welcomes reflection, meditation, yoga, chanting and dancing.
  • The Lifestyle… ‘family’ meals, group saunas, bush baths & walks, commuity gardening, breath-taking views, an inspiring library and many more wonderful things to be a part of!

We ask that volunteers do not expect to participate in the scheduled workshops during their stay, instead we encourage self exploration through personal practice.
Mana is a totally vegetarian, Drug and Alcohol free venue. Please be respectful of this lifestyle by not bringing any unwanted products onto the land.

What do our Volunteers have to say?

Things to Plan Before You Arrive


It may be necessary for you to obtain an ‘open’ work VISA or a Working Holiday VISA before entering New Zealand.
It is important that you research your eligibility requirements before applying to WWOOF at Mana, and that your VISA is valid for the time that you are visiting. Please visit the Immigration New Zealand webpage for more information.

For more information about currency, climate, time zones, health & safety please visit 100% New Zealand website by clicking here.


  • Sensible outdoor clothing and shoes
  • A swim suit
  • Indoor slippers or warm socks
  • Alarm Clock
  • Torch

Work Exchange Application Form

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